I'm cruising for a decent used car (3 - 6K range for work and
comfortable road trips) and not knowing much about Fords (though I
hear the Taurus is a pretty decent model) I'm wondering what the
lifespan/reliability is of the various Taurus engines? Does anyone
know a good site that lists this?
For example: I drove an '03 Taurus with 120,000 on it and it drove
nicely, $4300 they wanted and it had some dings and some busted trim
on passenger side, leather, moon roof, etc. So not knowing much about
the motor, thought I'd ask here.
Are Taurus motors considered as reliable as the 3800 series for
One thing I should mention, that it was a dealer that wanted the 4500,
and they're famous for 'best price' IE - they won't negotiate, or so
they say. The salesmen did a whole spiel about it. I had it out for a
nice drive and it really ran nice, good glass, tires, interior was
pretty nice, highway miles, but still I thought 120K might be trouble.
A 3.0 vulcan taken care of should easily go over 200K miles.
The Duratec is a little more mechanically busy, (and higher HP),
but i don't seem to see massive failures of those either.
The transmission is the weakest link. The basic drive train has
been refined and revised over 20 years, so i would hope they got
most of the real bugs out of it by then.
It all comes down to how much the car was taken care of or abused
before you got it. 120K of all city miles is a lot worse than 120K
of mixed or mainly highway miles.
If you have a independent mechanic you trust, you might slip him a few
bucks to take a look at it for you.
Taurus do not have as high as resale value as a honda, toyota or such.
So, if you look around there may be deals to be had. Sometimes there
are piles of them off lease or government auction cars. Keep in mind,
new dealer used car lots are HUGE profit centers for them. A private
sale if you dig and dicker may provide a better deal. You might find an
estate car with 50K that literally some little old lady drove to church.
Thanks Bob. I did a VIN check, tried to get into the local Ford
dealership to do an inspection, but they were booked. MSN Autos says
the 03 Taurus is very good, all green checks on the reliability, but I
think I could spend a little more and, like you said, from a private
party and get one with less miles and more of a history.
I have driven 2 Hondas (just totaled one) and a Toyota clone and find
the interiors to be pretty basic, cheap if durable and not really
comfortable for trips over 20 minutes. I don't want to open up the
whole 'Accord vs. Taurus' thing again, but yeah, give me the better
deal on a domestic car and the extra cash in my pocket when something
breaks. Accords used to be great, but since 98 the trannys haven't
been any better than any other maker and don't get me started on
But vehicle history and care is probably the most important factor
when buying used, as well as unbiased reliability ratings, I love the
features under MSN AUTOS.
there aren't many engines that WON'T go high miles IF they have been
properly cared for and driven reasonably. (years ago I bought a
Chevette with 115,000 miles on it and it was still running strong when I
sold at 150,000). Problem is - you don't know the history of an older
Question: Do Vulcan and Duratec engines have timing belts or chains?
I've been thru my Owner's Manual & Maintenance guide front to back and
not a word.
Belts tend to be hidden behind plastic covers easily visible while chains seem
to become "part of the engine" hidden by steel covers with a dozen or so bolts.
Belts need to replaced at approximately 60K miles hence the ease of access while
chains can easily go 120K or even 150K (properly maintained by oil changes ect).
The 3.8 is a time bomb. Very poor reliability - head gasket and
timing cover leaks and extremely fragile bearings. An ounce of
antifreeze in the oil will wipe the bearings right out.
The 3.0, on the other hand, is an exceptional engine as Ford engines
go. Virtually bullet proof if reasonably maintained. One weakness is
the oil pump drive (on the cam sensor, where the distributor would
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com
I have had oil analysis done at 150K and 160K on my '03 and it is
wearing fine. I expect it to run for a long time. I drive about 200
miles a day, six days a week so I am running Pennzoil Platinum 5w20 at
10k miles per change. It works out to about the same money as the
5w20 Motorcraft I was running at 5k but I spend half as much time
doing oil changes.
The bigger worry with a Taurus is the transmission. I can speak from
experience that the Ford A/T's are no where near as reliable as what
you might find mated to a 3800. Before the Taurus I had a '00 Impala
that I ran to 210K on the factory-filled ATF - I didn't know any
better. Once I got into the Taurus I had the ATF changed out every
20k and it still fell to pieces at 135K. From what I have read that's
about average for the Taurus.
$4300 for a dinged up Taurus w/120K? I'd laugh at the dealer's sign
in my rear-view mirror. If I had $4000 to spend I'd go find another
gen1 Impala with a 3800 and as close to 100K miles as possible. A
gen1 Impala will give you a peppy 30mpg on the highway while the
Taurus will give you a dumpy 25mpg if you're lucky.
To cut past the debate, The Ford Taurus is a solid reliable car. The
basic car and 3.0 engine have carried on since 1986. The refinements
were numerous, but the end result is that a late model 3.0 Taurus with
an automatic trans is almost bulletproof mechanically.
$4300 for a car with 120K and external flaws, well... Maybe $3500 or
a bit more, but that's just me. There's a sharp drop in perceived
value after +100K miles, IMHE. Still, it's an '03 and only 3 years
old. (I really understand your dilemma)???
I've seen Taurii with the 3.0l\AX4N combo go for 300K+ miles. I don't
think I've ever actually seen a 3.0L "fail" mechanically (as in,
"throw a rod" or "blow up" ).
BTW, the 3.0 has proven a bit more reliable than the 3800 Series in
recent years. GM has had some intake gasket related engine failures
recently on that series. Prior to that, the 3.0 and 3800 were about
neck and neck. Both are proven, reliable engines.
On Fri, 23 Nov 2007 22:47:49 -0800 (PST), Tom Adkins
One relatively common problem on the 3.0 Ford is the oil pump drive
gear/cam sensor assembly. They have been known to take the gears out
anywhere after about 50-60,000 miles. This can allow the engine to run
with no (or very poor) oil pressure. This will damage the engine. So,
if the oil light comes on, shut it off. It should then be a bit
difficult to start. Not terribly expensive or serious if caught on
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